Influential Voices: Going Beyond the Traditional Quality Function?

I had to laugh at Paul‘s question this month, “How well understood and embraced are the contributions of the quality professional beyond what is traditionally thought of as the quality function?” since the majority of what I do in my own job is now what folks consider to be quality. Sure, I do some things that typically fall within the quality function. Since the beginning of summer, I have been delivering hands on workshops on problem solving, and more recently trained a group on auditor skills. I facilitate our quality council. I help get data from our corrective action software. I field questions on management system standards.

On the other hand, I do a lot of things that fall outside the typical quality management function. I am the project lead for our sustainability reporting. I administer our corrective action software, typically an IT function, and I am responsible for our corporate document control, typically under configuration management. I’ve seen typically blurring of functions among the rest of our corporate quality group.

I think that this has come from the need to be agile and act quickly to respond to new needs within the organization. Rather than leaving a gap, we fill it. Is this smart? I’d say rather that it is survivalist. Businesses that can’t adapt are not going to be able to stay in business in the future, at least not in manufacturing.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Scott Rutherford
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 10:48:05

    Right on! SMART Manufacturing and their website sound like SAP ads a few years back. The silver bullet is throw more money at IT solutions. Sounds like the ongoing education debate in this country.


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